'When the looting starts, the shooting starts!' Trump's Twitter threat to Minneapolis protesters

29 May 2020, 06:51

Trump calls protesters ‘thugs’ after George Floyd death in police custody

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Twitter has censored US President Donald Trump after he threatened to deploy the military to Minneapolis to "shoot" rioters as a third night of protests swept the city.

President Trump used Twitter to issue the threat just hours after demonstrators in the US city stormed and set fire to a police station which had become a focus for protests.

Demonstrators have violently clashed with police after a white police officer was seen on video kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed black man who later died following an arrest.

Read more: Minneapolis police station firebombed over George Floyd death

After Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called in the National Guard at the Minneapolis mayor's request, the President tweeted the threat.

Mr Trump said he could not "stand back and watch" what was happening to the "great American City, Minneapolis."

Donald Trump made the threats on Friday morning
Donald Trump made the threats on Friday morning. Picture: PA

Trump said it was a "total lack of leadership," warning Mayor Jacob Frey to "get his act together and bring the City under control," or he threatened to "send in the National Guard & get the job done right....."

The President branded protester "thugs" and accused them of "dishonouring the memory of George Floyd," the dead man.

Mr Trump said he had spoken to the state Governor Tim Walz and "told him that the Military is with him all the way."

He said if there were any "difficulty" then the National Guard would be federalised (meaning it would come under the control of the President.

He then issued his threat "when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!"

Just hours after the Tweet from the President was posted, it was censored by Twitter with the social media site saying it had violated their policies around "glorifying violence."

Twitter said: "This Tweet violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.

"We've taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance.

"As is standard with this notice, engagements with the Tweet will be limited. People will be able to Retweet with Comment, but will not be able to Like, Reply or Retweet it."

Twitter censored Trump's tweet
Twitter censored Trump's tweet. Picture: LBC

The mayor of Minneapolis has called for criminal charges to be filed against the white police officer seen on video kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed black man during an arrest, even after the man said he could not breathe and stopped moving.

George Floyd said he couldn't breathe as a white officer kneeled on his neck during an arrest.

Based on the video, city mayor Jacob Frey said he believes officer Derek Chauvin should be charged over the death of George Floyd.

Chauvin and three other officers were fired on Tuesday.